Saturday, June 5, 2010

Final Thoughts on Amerivespa 2010

My final thoughts on Amerivespa 2010.

I have to say we made a ton of new friends at the event this year. It was one of the best supported events I've attended. Everyone in the industry was pretty much there from Vespa-Piaggio Group of Americas, Kymco, SYM - Carter, Genuine, Peirspeed, GoGo Girls, Corazzo, a ton of new companies. This was the best supported inter-industry event I've stopped at this year when it came to scooter companies. I think I actually got to talk to more people than the Dealer Expo.

Some people not only attended they also donated vehicles for the charity auctions and raffle which I thought was really nice of them.

It was also cool to reconnect with Motorcycle magazine guys that aren't used to the Scooter Scene. There were more than usual and thats thanks to Kymco for sponsoring them.

If you saw coverage in the mainstream websites like and you saw someone from Cycle World thats because Kymco invited them.

We need to get the other companies to the same in the future thats the only way Scootering will grow. Another very smart thing to do by Rick over at the Kymco Marketing department. Only by involving mainstream media and the big motorcycle magazines will the dealers prosper.

Amerivespa was two events in one actually. The week leading up to Amerivespa there wasnt much going on in the scooter industry except for reports that sales were down across the board and the Japanese brands weren't really pushing scooters like Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki since their sales are down. I'm of the opinion that this is when you should promote your scooters even more. It's that type of thinking that costs people their leadership positions in the business. Yes, Honda has a new model coming out, but who cares if its not promoted properly or they don't even bother sending a sales rep to such big events like Amerivespa. AAA Moped one of the few Yamaha Scooter only dealerships left from the 1970s recently closed, now if you want a Honda or Yamaha franchise you will have to buy everything from Generators to lawnmowers so it's not like they are really taking notice of the changing marketplace. Nope round 1 of the 2010 marketing campaigns goes to Kymco who promoted Amerivespa better than anyone else.

Kymco USA used a live blog ( link up at, their website, and several media outlets to promote including Guido Eberts Powersports Blog Scoot2Texas a weeklong event leading up to Amerivespa starting May 23 Everyone from the president to the logistics manager was there showing that they not only sold scooters they ride them as well.

Kymco USA was actually nice enough to hook up MPN with a Scooter for the entire 4 day event. We tested the Downtown 300i and the Xciting 500cc we got to ride it all over San Antonio, TX along with several journalists. This was part of Kymcos efforts to promote scootering and get the management team back to basics. When I say everybody they took everybody which was way cool
All of Kymco USA management plus President Eric Bondy plus guests from Taiwan including the Vice-president let's go down the list: Participants included KYMCO USA President Eric Bondy; "Kymco" Lee, VP; Frank Yang of KYMCO’s new product development team; Bruce Ramsey, VP of operations; Joe Wafford, VP of technical services; Steve Lazoff, Director of Sales; Rick Pawelka, Director of Marketing; photographer Robert Pandya; journalist Justin Dawes of Moto USA; blogger Guido Ebert; and KYMCO customers Judi McLane and David George, Gregory Dykes and Neil Sangalang

In case you didn't know I write for a great magazine called Motorcycle Product News you can check them out at here I am plugging shamelessly my latest article. No worries next issue we will have pictures of Amerivespa and all the sponsors in there. I took pictures of everyone from the Madass, Kymco, Genuine, GoGo, Corazzo, even some old Rabbits which I was facinated by.

Now on to the stars of the show. The riders: Some people said 650 people, I would put the numbers around 450 to 500 from all over the world. The event has grown from the vintage only scene to be the biggest rider event for scooterists in Amerivca. It’s the most inclusive event I’ve experienced with riders of all backgrounds, ethnic groups, nationalities and world wide appeal. I met riders that flew in from as far away as Germany and Japan to attend the memorial weekend event.

In my opinion this was a better event for any scooter company to attend than even the dealer expo since it gives store owners, consumers, and industry experts a chance to interact and talk in a stress free environment. Many new stores brought employees so they could connect with the scene and understand their customer base which I found to be interesting. From newbies on their first scooters to people that have trekked across America there was something for everyone

I haven't been much for rallies since I saw a drunk rider fall of his bike back in 2004. I've never quite understood all the drinking involved and I think its a huge liability. I had to be reminded more than once to ride with my helmet since I'm used to taking it off when its hot.

Just because I know how to ride doesn't mean the guy next to me does. I had a lot of people interested in racing and in promoting racing in the US which is great. So overall I will be going to Amerivespa 2011 and I encourage anyone wanting to get into scooters to go and check it out. A big thank you to Kymco USA for lending me the Downtown 300 and the Xciting 500 to ride out there during Amerivespa. A thank you to Steve at the Scooter Scoop make sure to visit his site, Pistol Pete from Scoot Magazine, Erica and staff from Corazzo , Tom @ SYM - Carter, and our course our good friend Guido at Powersports Blog.

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